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(4) have always given the most unequivocal proofs of their loyalty on every proper occasion ;--yet there never have been wanting fome who attempted to traduce them as enemies to the prefent government. And, at this time, there are not a few who consider all Seceders, influenced by the peculiar principles of their society, as ringleaders of that party who avowedly set then selves to oppose the measures of government, to embarrass its motions, and to overturn it, if possible, from the foundation. The publication of these efsays will at least convince them that fome Seceders are of a different mind.
To Chriftians, the Holy Scriptures are the supreme rule, both of faith and practice. Concerning every opinion, of whatever kind, that any man would propagate among them, and concerning every practice, to which men would instigate them, the first enquiry of Christians should be, Is it, or is it not, agreeable to the word of God? And whoever they be, that speak not according to this word, we are sufficiently warranted to conclude, that it is because there is no light in them. Few people in the lower ranks of life can be acquainted with the science of politics: nor is it to be hoped that they can understand those abstract reasonings, which may be employed in matters of that kind. But, among us, even the poor have bibles in their hands, and have, for the most part, been taught to read them. In the bible, the duties of every natural and civil relation are clearly and plainly pointed out: and if men, instead of gathering their principles, concerning politcal duty from inflammatory news-papers, and feditious pamphlets, writ. ten by men, whom they know 'not whence they are, would calmly peruse the Scriptures, and follow the directions of the Spirit of God speaking in them, they would find it more calculated to promote their inward peace, as well as tending more to make them quiet and useful members of society. In all that has been written, on those political controversies which of late have been agitated among us, little recourse has been had to the Scriptures on either side. Hence, people may imagine, that these are matters with which the Scriptures have nothing to do: and that they may take what fide they please, without acting contrary to the word of God. To obviate this mistake is one main design of this publication. On such a subject, it will be impossible to confine ourselves wholly to arguments drawn immediately from Scripture: but Scripture and sound reason were never at variance. From these two sources combined, it is proposed to collect what has occurred on the following topics.
1. On Government in general; and the Subjection due to the Powers that be.
II. On Revolutions.
IV. On Kingly Government, and Hereditary Succef. fion.
V. On Parliamentary Representation and Reform.
VIII. On the present War, and the failure of Credit as conneoted with it.
OF GOVERNMENT in general; and the Subjec
tion which Christians owe to the Powers that be.
AMONG the philofophers of modern times
, it has
as ing originally been a race of savages, little removed from brutes, and wholly unconnected with one another in fociety. And this savage state they call the state of nature. In such a state, every man must have united in his own person all the rights that are now pofseffed both by magistrates and subjects, as far as related to himself. Restrained by no human laws, he had a right to do what he pleased, without being subject to the will of another, or being accountable for what he did to any creature. Every man must have been his own lawgiver, his own judge, his own protector, and his own avenger.
But, though for argument's fake, we may suppose such a state to have existed, and though, in some places of the world, mankind have so far degenerated, as to have made near approaches to that state ; yet it is plain, from the nature of things, that, in such a state, man never could sublist. The social principle is as much interwoven with our nature, as the principle of self-preservation: so that no human creature could ever fubGst one day, in the exercise of his rational faculties, without defiring society, and using means to obtain it, if such means were in his power. The law of nature, that was originally wiitten on man's heart, and still continues to be so in some degree, expresly requires social and relative duties; and as exprefly prohibits crimes against fo. ciety: and, therefore, necessarily presupposes a social state.-Besides, unless we suppose all mankind perfectly free from any vicious disposition, the species could not long have fubfifted, in that unsocial state. The weak would have become a prey to the strong i and the meek and peaceable to the turbulent and unruly. Either they who were disposed to live in peace, must have afsociated together for their mutual defence; or the strongeft individual, and the most wicked, would have made himself master of the whole race. In either of these cases, the foundation would have been laid, of some kind of society.
If we have recourse to Scripture history, the only history that can give us satisfaction in that matter, we shall find the above reasoning confirmed by fact. Adam, though in full possession of a furnished world, the very day that he was created, felt a want of something more adapted to his nature, than any thing that God had yet made. Neither did he find a help meet for him, till he was provided with a companion of his own species. Som ciety, therefore, was formed, as soon as Eve was created : and from that day to this, meg have always fubsisted in society. Whether society could have subfifted without subordination, or not,-if man had continued in a state of originál integrity ? is a question that none can answer.
But we are very sure that it cannot in our present core rupt ftate. Accordingly, as soon as fin entered, God put the woman under subjection to the man; when He said, “ Unto him shall be thy desire, and he shall rule over “ thee *.” A fimilar expression used to Cain, intimates a kind of natural subjection of the younger to the elder, even among brothers. And thus there can be no socie. ty without subordination, and some kind of government.
What sort of government obtained among mankind in the antediluvian ages, or from the flood to the building of Babel, it is impossible to determine. It is plain, that during the last mentioned period, mankind continued united in one society; and dwelt together in one - part of the earth. After the confusion of languages, they who spoke with the same tongue would naturally associate together, settle in some convenient spot of the earth, and set up among themselves that form of government, which their peculiar circumstances might point out. But we have no reason to think, that the fame form was adopted every where.
Some have asserted that the first form of governa ment was patriarchal: that every man exercised a fovereign authority in his own family: that when the father of a family died, his authority, together with his inheritance, descended to his eldest son. The fon's heir fucceeded, and so forward, till the family grew into a nation, and the family chieftain rose into a 'king. Hence, they plead for monarchy, as more congenial to nature than any other fort of government.
Others plead that the patriarchs were no kings ; that they exercised no other authority than what still